As long as the comfort and safe space that nostalgia provides remains an attractive escape from all the pesky change that goes on in our big, blue world, groups like The Impossible Project will exist. Their mission impossible? To save instant film from utter extinction ever since Polaroid surrendered to the digital format and shut down its last remaining instant film factory in 2008. The Impossible Project bought that factory and is now the only company in the world that manufactures original format instant film. No longer just a novelty, The Impossible Project has carved out a niche where they produce a sought after, nostalgic commodity.
Naturally, their latest step at reattempting world domination with instant film is launching their own instant camera, a first for the brand. Dubbed Impossible Project I-1, the company is retooling, reimagining and reinventing the instant camera. It says it quite matter-of-factly in their tagline: “The Original Instant Camera. Reinvented.” Bold use of punctuation there, Impossible Project. So, how does a company honor the nostalgia of yesteryear that has essentially placed them on the map, yet make a camera that isn’t a pain in the ass to use in 2016? Simple – they merge functionality from the best of both worlds.
The I-1 will spit out those instant photographs on the spot (shaking them like a Polaroid picture not required), but operates like a typical digital camera and boasts a modern, streamlined aesthetic to appeal to both the past and our oh-so-futuristic present. Using Impossible type 600 film that they reverse engineered from the same type of film Polaroid used to manufacture, users of the I-1 will get tangible snapshots of anything they desire. As a nod to the company that birthed them, the I-1 will also work with the discontinued Polaroid 600 film if you happen to be a hoarder of it.
What you wouldn’t have found on your standard Polaroid instant camera that the I-1 has integrated is a USB rechargeable battery and an advanced ring flash, which will automatically adjust based on focus distance and the amount of ambient light present. There’s also a companion app that connects to the camera via Bluetooth and gives photographers using the I-1 the ability to trigger the camera remotely and manually adjust and control flash settings, aperture and shutter speed. If you’re looking to get your hands on a little slice of the past, the I-1 camera will be available to purchase starting May 10 for $300.